Puttin’ a seed in the garden

Wow, where do I start? I have now been in Cape Town for just over 4 weeks now.  My research got off to a pretty rough start.  Initially, as indicated in my last post, I was hoping to correlate culture to food insecurity.  However, once I looked deeper into this, I realized that to objectively identify culture is virtually impossible.  This made my research question very challenging since there are no good, reliable ways of measuring cultural variation without projecting my culture into picture.  In other words, my culture inherently influences how I interpret other individuals’ culture. Another challenge I faced was how to separate food insecurity due to cultural factors, rather than sheer poverty.  If people are extremely poor, does culture even matter in determining what they eat or where they get it from?  I feared that observations I made about their culture would merely be projections of their poverty, disguised as being “culture.”

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